One of the most vital things you can do in your life is establishing & re-evaluating your boundaries.
This goes with the relationships/connections around you and with yourself. I will let you know that my personality is usually is very super empathetic and helpful; to the point that I self sacrificed so much of myself into illness, depression,and not doing what God called me to do. That ain't a good look!
I am a Dominican, Afro-latina. In my community sometimes the cultural norm is very different to what we see as boundaries in America. I am not here to bash my culture. It has brought me a long way, and there are some cultural norms in America when it comes to how people operate that would NEVER be acceptable in my country. We have to remember that we have to really examine what is the driving force behind what we chose to follow and how it serves us. Is it healthy or unhealthy?
I used to almost ALWAYS put everyone ahead of myself. I thought I was being such a good person becuase I was always being helpful. I did know about some boundaries, but nothing to the extend that I practice them now. I have a list of books that have helped change my life (or the authors work has.) They may be able to best convey things to you.
Book 1: Boundaries (expanded version) ,When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life By Henry Cloud & John Townsend.
This book transformed my life by really highlighting the lack of boundaries I used to have and where it could have stemmed from. It really blew my mind how things could transpire from certain events, trauma, or upbringing. They broke down the dynamics on family, religion, and some other things. What I really loved is the examples on how yes certain things can be perceived to us in one way but also how it could be damaging to us not only in the moment but how it transpires later in life!
Book 2: Boundaries in dating By Henry Cloud & John Townsend.
Same authors, but an interesting take on how our boundaries show up in relationships. It can be very interesting, especially when you are dating for lifelong companionship /marriage. Sometimes in your mind you may think, well they are going to be my forever person so I am going to give them so much access. They show different ways on how to more appropriately reqliquish information or access to people when we are getting to know them. They go over how to reestablish boundaries that have been crossed.
Book 3: Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab
I just started this book, and I am a few chapters in. I follow her on instagram and she gives wonderful advice. This book is very introspective and she does not sugar coat. She tells it like it is, but is very professional. She calls out trending behaviors, and naming and how we take responsibilities in these dynamics. For example, Narcissist and Co-Dependent people/or super empathetic. On the outside most times people can point fingers at the narsassist, but she shows how "damaging" the co-dependent persons behaviors/boundaries or lack there of is also feeding the problem. No one goes unscathed here.
Book 4: The Bible (this is a ounral the word Bible & large print that I have)
Now this is the last but certainly not least. the Bible is a wonderful tool and many times can be used for good or bad. Sometimes scriptures are interpreted to wring yourself out so much that there is nothing left of you. And although I can understand, give the gifts of you out, so you leave this earth empty. It all comes with understanding. JESUS HAD BOUNDARIES...
let me say it again for the people in the back.
JESUS HAD BOUNDARIES!
WHEW. Yes. Our self sacrificing savior had boundaries. If he didn't he wouldn't have been able to provide examples for us. He would go off to spend time on his own to pray and seek God. That gave him time to refocus (see Luke 5:16)
Jesus would tell people no on things he didn't want to do or it wasn't time yet (see John 4)
Jesus would help but also let the person he was helping what their role was. (see John 8)
God gave us dominion and free will. What we choose to do with our time, self, and resources are very important.
If we end up doing everything people called us to do and not the calling/assignments that God has called us to do. We are going to miss out. There are seasons for everything. Don't exploit yourself. We must also take care of our household and then pour out. If you are pouring from an empty cup (figuratively or spiritually) how will that help others.
As they say on the plane. Please Put on your mask to get air, before putting others. You are moe helpful when you are operating with strength. Let God guide you on how to hone in on the skills to show up as the best version of you that he called you to be.
Not from a bitter, overextended, burnt out place. From love, compassion and abundance.
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